Before Friday’s baseball game between Illinois and Minnesota on BTN/BTN2Go, Illinois players Anthony Milazzo and Bryan Roberts introduced their team’s starting line-up in a most amusing way. It’s only the latest in what we hope is a never-ending series of great Big Ten baseball game lineup introductions — and we’ve posted them all here.
Most every key component from last year’s team that went 10-3 and won the school’s first bowl since the Stone Age — OK, the 1948 season — is back. Good, because this schedule is a doozy. In fact, starting 2-0 won’t be a given, with a trip to Cal and visit from Syracuse, which lost a crazy 42-41 game at home to the Wildcats last season, on tap to open the season. Big Ten schools switched cross-division foes this season, and no school had a less advantageous swap then NU.
It’s a slow, steady process, but the Minnesota offense is coming on as Jerry Kill continues to put his mark on the program entering his third year in the Twin Cities. Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Matt Limegrover’s attack ranked 10th in the Big Ten in 2012 (321.4 ypg). And the offense was ninth in scoring (22.1 ppg).
The Big Ten office announced the conference schedule for the 2014 football season today, as approved by the Big Ten Directors of Athletics. The 2014 schedule will consist of eight games for each of the Big Ten’s 14 teams, feature a new division alignment, include the conference debut of Maryland and Rutgers and culminate with the fourth annual Big Ten Football Championship Game.
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Minnesota junior-to-be Joe Coleman was granted a release from his scholarship, the Gophers announced Wednesday afternoon. Coleman, who averaged 7.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in two seasons in Minneapolis, will seek a transfer. The guard will have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Things set up well for Nebraska, which opens with five games at home and doesn’t leave Lincoln until Oct. 12 (at Purdue). It wouldn’t be a shock if Nebraska is 8-0 when it travels to Michigan on Nov. 9 in the only game the Huskers may not be favored in all season. Bottom line: This schedule greases the skids for Nebraska’s return trip to the Big Ten title game, as the Huskers pursue the program’s first conference title since 1999.